"THE IMPOSSIBLE NOTATION":
THE SODOMY SCENE IN LADY CHATTERLEYS LOVER
It is the way sympathy flows and recoils that really determines our lives. And here lies the vast importance of the novel, properly handled. It can inform and lead into new places and flow of our sympathetic consciousness, and it can lead our sympathy away in recoil from things gone dead. Therefore, the novel, properly handled, can reveal the most secret places of life: for it is in the passional secret places of life, above all, that the tide of sensitive awareness needs to ebb and flow, cleansing and freshening. 1
D. H. Lawrence's famous formulation about the places the novel can take a reader always jolts us anew when we realize that one of these places is the rectum of Lady Constance Chatterley. This, led us add, is not the only place it would take us. Lawrence's last novel, further, tries to "lead our sympathy away in recoil from things gone dead"; thus, Clifford Chatterley is alienated from us, as is the economic system he runs and the social order in which it occupies a central part. Lawrence's statement also presents the major moral function of the antithesis of compassion and revulsion in the work, for Lady Chatterley's Lover is indeed a novel revolving on an unconventional moral axis. It harbors a transvaluative vitalism which reaches an apex of audacity in the controversial "night-of-sensual-passion" scene in Chapter XVI. What is going on in this sequence is in part borne out by two key ideas about the relation of the mind to the body expressed by Lawrence and Norman O. Brown, respectively:
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Publication information: Book title: The Maze in the Mind and the World:Labyrinths in Modern Literature. Contributors: Donald Gutierrez - Author. Publisher: Whitston. Place of publication: Troy, NY. Publication year: 1985. Page number: 55.
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